MiSTed: The Tale of Grumpy Weasel, Chapter 19

It’s another exciting chapter of Arthur Scott Bailey’s The Tale of Grumpy Weasel that I have for you. The whole of my Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan fiction based on this novel should be here. Hope you enjoy.

Previously: Grumpy Weasel has had his spats with other animals in Pleasant Valley, sure. But he’s never successfully preyed upon any of the animals he might eat however hard he tries. But what would happen if someone turned the table, and tried to prey upon him? Huh? Didn’t think of that, did you? And now settle in and enjoy …




TOM: [ As Henry Gibson ] ‘A hiding, by Henry Hawk.’

> In the spring Grumpy Weasel was always glad

JOEL: No he was *not*!

CROW: [ Startled ] Little harsh there.

JOEL: I have to put my foot down somewhere.

> to see
> the birds coming back from the South.

TOM: The birds had such a wonderful time visiting South Dakota. Wall Drug, the corn palace, the filming locations of North by Northwest …

> But it must not be
> supposed that it was because he liked to hear them sing (for
> he didn’t!).

CROW: He signed up for this stupid bird-watching app and if he doesn’t log something every week it gets all whiny at him.

> Nor should any one make the mistake of thinking that
> Grumpy Weasel loved the birds.

JOEL: Not after all the times someone asked if Grumpy wanted them to give him the bird and …

CROW: [ Raspberries ]

> The only reason why he
> welcomed them was because he liked to hunt them, and rob
> their nests.


> But there were two birds that Grumpy didn’t care to
> have in Pleasant Valley.

CROW: The Roc and Baby Huey.

> He often wished that Solomon Owl and
> Henry Hawk

TOM: Solomon Owl. ‘en’ery Hawk. _They’re beaked!_

> would leave the neighborhood and never return.
> That was because they liked to hunt him.

CROW: They’d like it more except hunting him means getting close to him.

> Especially did Grumpy Weasel dislike Henry Hawk,

JOEL: His cartoons weren’t *that* bad.

TOM: Eh …

> who
> had an unpleasant habit of sitting motionless on a limb

CROW: [ As Grumpy ] ‘Get off my tail.’

TOM: [ As Henry ] ‘Are you sure a tail is a limb?’

CROW: [ As Grumpy ] ‘MOOOOOOM!’

> in
> the top of some great tree.

TOM: I’ve seen better.

> From that high perch he swept the
> whole valley with his keen, cruel eyes,

JOEL: o/` These eyes have seen a lot of land … o/`

> because (as he said)
> he "liked to see what was going on."

TOM: [ As Henry ] ‘Landslide! … Oh no, wait, Fatty Raccoon just tripped.’

> If Henry Hawk saw anything anywhere that interested
> him he lost no time in reaching that place.

TOM: Oh now me I’m always putting time in a special place I won’t forget and then I can never find it again.

> It might be a
> bird, or a meadow mouse, or maybe a plump chicken.

CROW: That’s what’s so great about him, he’s not fussy.

> And he was
> always hoping to catch a glimpse of Grumpy Weasel.

JOEL: Oh anyone can catch a glimpse, that’s easy. It’s weasels that are hard.

> One day early in the fall Mr. Hawk saw what he had
> been looking for so long.

TOM: The first robin of spring! You’re *incredibly* late!

CROW: [ As a robin ] ‘I’m very early!’

> Near the old cider mill, up the
> road from Farmer Green’s house,

JOEL: No, no, back down, you’ve gone too far — oh, that’s the Moon, nobody’s going *there*.

TOM: It’s too full.

> he spied a long, slender,
> brownish shape moving swiftly among a pile of barrels outside
> the building.

CROW: *Four* Maurice Chevaliers?!

> He knew at once that it was Grumpy Weasel;

TOM: Now, now, it might be Sulky Marten.

JOEL: I loved any game show hosted by Sulky Marten.

> and
> though he was a long way off Mr. Hawk could see that Grumpy
> was very busy looking for something

CROW: Grumpy! Are you looking for love in all the wrong places?

> —so busy, Mr. Hawk
> hoped, that Grumpy wouldn’t notice anything else.

JOEL: You know how it is when you’re looking for something, you can’t see anything.

TOM: Now where did I put my thing?

> Henry Hawk had wonderful eyesight.

CROW: [ As Emily Litella ] ‘Now how can eye sighing be wonderful?’

> As he came
> hurtling down out of the sky he could see that Grumpy was
> playing hide-and-seek with a mouse.

TOM: Oh, how sweet! Everyone thinks he’s mean and yet he goes out of his way to play with the deprived mice —

JOEL: [ Rests a hand on TOM’s shoulder ]

> "It’s a shame to break up the game," Mr. Hawk
> chuckled to himself.

CROW: All tied in the fourteenth inning, too, too bad.

> And just then something made Grumpy Weasel look up.

TOM: [ Yes’s _It Can Happen_ ] o/` Look down! There’s a crazy world outside! o/`

> It must have been Henry Hawk’s shadow flickering over a
> barrel.

JOEL: Wait a minute, hawks don’t come in barrels.

> There was no other sign that could have warned
> Grumpy.

CROW: [ As Henry ] ‘Except you, blabbermouth narrator.’

> He put the meadow mouse out of his mind

TOM: Never try eating a mouse with your mind.

JOEL: You get cheesey thoughts.

> without a bit
> of trouble and made a sidewise spring

CROW: Thank you, Coily!

> for the first hole on
> which his eyes lighted.

JOEL: Oh no, it’s the hole that only goes halfway!

> Grumpy was through it in a twinkling.

TOM: Not halfway anymore.

JOEL: Try and escape hard enough and everything’s a hole that goes all the way through.

> Henry Hawk made
> a frantic grab with his talons at the black tip of Grumpy’s
> tail,

CROW: No no, it’s marked ‘lift other end’.

> just as it whisked out of sight. But he was too late.

JOEL: Grumpy had called ‘olly olly oxen-free’.

> It did not soothe Henry Hawk’s feelings to find that
> the meadow mouse had vanished at the same time.

CROW: Wait! That mouse must be Atomic Mouse!

> Henry would
> have liked to play hide-and-seek with him himself.

TOM: Oh, what a happy valley this is! Everyone is so playful!

> Mr. Hawk knew well enough where Grumpy was hiding.

JOEL: [ As Henry ] ‘I can pick up tips from the gabby narrator *too*.’

> That slim fellow had sought safety in an empty jug,

CROW: o/` Little brown jug, little brown jug, little brown jug I don’t know the other words! o/`

> which was
> lying on its side near the pile of barrels.

TOM: It’s also lying on the ground, don’t make it look like it does all the lying by itself.

> It made a fine
> fort for Grumpy Weasel.

CROW: Fort Grumpy Weasel, a surprisingly critical post during King William’s War.

> The enemy couldn’t break through it.
> And there was only one loophole,

JOEL: It’s if a person of sufficient virtue reunites the Seven Lost Shards of Wisdom at the peak of the triple eclipse that happens Sunday night for the last time in a thousand years!

> which was far too small to
> do Henry Hawk the least good.

TOM: The least good, the fundamental particle of utilitarianism.

> Henry saw at once that he might as well go away.

CROW: I don’t know, could be pretty funny if you made the jug roll some.

JOEL: That’s mean, Crow.

CROW: Yeah but still.

> So
> he went off grumbling.

TOM: Grumpy pops his head out to yell that’s *his* line and then whoops.

> "This," he said, "is what comes of disorderly habits.

JOEL: Always keep your habits in a row, folks.

> Farmer Green ought not to have left that jug lying there.

CROW: Had he not ought?

> If
> he hadn’t, I might have been able to do him a good turn."

TOM: Oh, you could do him a good turn *now* by picking up his clutter, you just want to do something for yourself and *say* it’s a favor.

And to explain riffs. 1506 Nix Nix was a common catchphrase in the Dadaist comic strip Smokey Stover, I am told. I’ve read like three Sunday pages of it myself. Seems fun. Baby Huey was an inexplicably longrunning character in the Harvey Comics universe; he was an enormous, powerfully strong toddler of a bird. He aspired to Baby Schnooks status. The “Four Maurice Chevaliers” references the earlier parts of the Marx Brothers’ Monkey Business, where they sneak off the boat they’re stowaways on by pretending to be Maurice Chevalier. So funny a movie that Zeppo is funny in it. Yes’s It Can Happen is from their 1983 album 90125, the one that gave us Owner of a Lonely Heart.

Atomic Mouse is one of the approximately infinitely great number of old-time funny-animal comic book superheroes who gets their power from a proton energy pill. In his case, it’s Uranium-235 pills. Pretty fun overall but be ready for 40s-style casual racism and sexism spoiling a nice time. King William’s War was one of several wars between the England and France which in colonial times manifested as wars between American colonizers and Native Americans. It was pretty brutal, which is what makes it funny to reference.

[ To continue … ? Yeah, to continue, I’d be silly if I gave this up at this point. ]


Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

11 thoughts on “MiSTed: The Tale of Grumpy Weasel, Chapter 19”

    1. Right? Now, I’d believe you if you told me there was, like, some stupid Victorian job where someone came around and put hawks into barrels so they could tear up used clothing into smaller fragments or something. But that wouldn’t be funny, except in that way bonkers customs of the 19th century are funny, which is to say sad.


  1. It made a fine
    fort for Grumpy Weasel

    The end of the Raccoon War was near when quite accidentally a weasel who sneezed abruptly seized
    Retreat and reversed it to vic-tor-y…etc etc etc …..

    [In color]

    Tonight’s Special Guest Star Don Rickles as Bald Eagle (with whom Grumpy got along with quite well)
    [As Jack Palance] Believe it or not!


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